Shake the Scene: The Day the Clown Cried


The Day the Clown Cried (1972)

The Day the Clown CriedThe Scene: This is look at some behind-the-scenes footage of the Jerry Lewis abortion The Day the Clown Cried.

Why This Is Significant: This post is mostly for you film buffs out there and this will seem kind of boring to our more casual readers, but I find the story behind this movie and the mystery surrounding it pretty fascinating. Aside from a couple of stills, the public has never seen anything about this film, and is basically the holy grail of unseen movies.  Although it’s not much, this clip, just made available online this past weekend, is the first footage of the film ever to be shown in more than 40 years. The legend goes that the movie, about a clown inside a concentration camp during World War II who entertains imprisoned children before they’re marched off to the gas chamber (see more synopsis here), is so unbelievably awful on every conceivable level that director and star Jerry Lewis locked it in a vault and threw away the key. To this day, only a handful of people have actually seen the film, most notably actor and Spinal Tap bassist Harry Shearer, who said he was simply “stunned” at how misguided and ridiculous the film was (listen to him talk to Howard Stern about it here). It’s unlikely that any of us will ever see this movie, unless maybe it gets leaked out following Jerry Lewis’s death, which he’s been cheating for a couple of decades. Just one word of warning before you watch this, skip over 0:52–0:55 if you ever want to sleep again…

Oh no…

Oh god it’s LOOSE!!


11 thoughts on “Shake the Scene: The Day the Clown Cried

  1. I have always been scared of clowns even before “It” so this film would be my idea of a nightmare–all you need to do is add a few mannequins and porcelein painted dolls into the plot and I would lose my mind. Seriously, an intriguing post!


  2. As a kid, I played hide-n-seek in a closet which included the neglected painted antique faces and clowns and “life-size” dolls I wouldn’t play with. In the dark, my imagination bred life into them and I imagined them falling over me. Then these things invaded my dreams and grew jagged teeth and I am in an empty warehouse with stairs confined to a wheelchair on the top floor but these mannequins and dolls and clowns with their knashing teeth chase me. It’s a reoccuring dream I had as a kid/teen. IF I have this dream tonight, I’m going to be angry with you. 😉


  3. Pingback: Shake the Scene: Chris Farley as Shrek | Hard Ticket to Home Video

  4. Pingback: Home Video Alert: Inside Out; She’s Funny That Way; Before We Go | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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